Driving Even though Black

Was it November 2006 or March 1991? Was it Rodney King all more than again? The recent murder of Sean Bell by New York police officers and the Taser shooting of Houston Texans offensive lineman, Fred Weary, have some wondering were the attacks racially motivated.

For African Americans, getting the victims of racial profiling is practically nothing new, but the tactics used by police to justify excessive force against minorities recently hit an all time low as officers attempted to assassinate the character of Sean Bell and Fred Weary, the most current victims of police brutality.

On November 25, 2006, New York City police officers fired 50 shots into a car driven by Sean Bell, 23, hours just before he was to marry Nicole Paultre. Police critically wounded passengers Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield in the shooting.

Bell and his buddies had been celebrating his bachelor party at the Kalua Cabaret, a club beneath investigation for alleged criminal activities.

According to eyewitness reports, the 3 guys allegedly got into an argument with other patrons at the club and decided to leave the cabaret.

Primarily based on police reports, the undercover officers investigating the atmosphere at the Kalua Cabaret believed they heard a person in Bell’s entourage say they had a gun. Believing they have been in imminent danger, police approached Bell’s car to question the three males.

According to one particular of the victims, Bell, fearing robbery, rammed his car into an unmarked police auto in an attempt to get away. The police officers fired 50 shots in response.

Police claimed that they identified themselves as officers when they approached Bell’s car, but the surviving victims say that is not true.

The Police Commissioner admitted that he permitted the officers to have a couple of drinks, but believed they had been nevertheless match to carry out their duties as officers.

According to the Related Press, police discovered Bell drunk at the time of the shooting, which has angered several, such as Bell’s family.

“There was no shooting by any of the victims, like Sean Bell. Their judgment one particular way or one more is irrelevant, since they didn’t do something,” mentioned civil rights leader Al Sharpton.

“The question is, why do not we have toxicology tests on how a lot the undercover police were drinking,” Sharpton added.

According to the AP, a lawyer for Bell’s parents referred to as the allegation “yet another try to denigrate the victim of a police murder.”

Also in November 2006, Fred Weary, offensive lineman for the Houston Texans was arrested and shot with a Taser following a visitors cease near Reliant Stadium in Houston.

According to the police report, an officer pulled Weary over simply because of a missing license plate after following him since he looked “quite suspicious.” The police report also stated that Weary pushed away an officer and police Tasered him after he stepped toward an officer after they ordered him to spot his hands on the automobile.

Police not too long ago dropped misdemeanor charges against Weary. A lot of of his Texans teammates and acquaintances have stated that Weary is not the sort of person who would have done anything to warrant this kind of response from a police officer.

“I do not think it occurred the way they mentioned it happened. He didn’t commit any crime. He didn’t deserve to be Tasered twice and didn’t deserve to be arrested,” mentioned Weary’s lawyer.

When Los Angeles police officers brutally attacked Rodney King more than a decade ago, the whole nation was shocked and appalled at the brutality inflicted upon what seemed to be a helpless victim.

The police justified their violence by saying that they believed King was high on PCP because of his “spaced out” look. Police officers shot King with a Taser but he nevertheless managed to get up. The officers responded by beating him more than 50 occasions with a baton prior to ultimately arresting him.

Just like in the Bell and Weary case, police justified their excessive force by stating that victims looked suspicious or they believed they heard the victim speak of possessing a weapon. If police violence is justified by the way a single looks, then who is to say the subsequent victim might not be a single of us.
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